Learn what CBD is, how it works, and the benefits for relieving stress and bringing your body back into balance.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling anxious about your to-do list? I’ve struggled with anxiety since high school. When I have a lot on my plate, my mind will race in the middle of the night, making it hard to go back to sleep. The next day I am groggy and irritable, with my stomach in knots and new breakouts on my skin.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms in the body and contribute to dis-ease. Throughout the years, I’ve learned techniques to reduce my anxiety and restore balance in my body, including meditation, yoga, sound healing, and plant-based supplements.
Recently, I heard friends, chiropractors and other wellness practitioners talking about the benefits of CBD for anxiety and other ailments. At first I was skeptical and thought it was just another trend, but then I started learning about the science behind CBD. I also heard testimonials about how CBD helped entrepreneurs feel less overwhelmed and moms recover postpartum. I knew this trend was here to stay.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Other cannabinoids include CBG (referred to as the “mother” of all cannabinoids), CBN (often used to support sleep) and THC (known for the euphoric feeling).
While they all come from the same plant family, CBD and CBG are derived from hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC. Unlike THC, these other variations are not psychoactive, so you will not experience that “high” feeling.
How does CBD work in the body?
One of the most important systems in our body is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In this video, I explain what the ECS is and how it works to keep the body balanced. You can press play or continue reading below.
The ECS is linked to all other systems in the body. It regulates key functions like our stress response, pain, inflammation, digestion, sleep, mood, memory, motivation, pleasure and more. This system corrects and manages our health, maintaining homeostasis (balance) in our body.
We have cannabinoid receptors on our cell membranes. Our body produces endocannabinoids naturally that bind to the receptors. However, our receptors can become depleted due to environmental factors, which causes us to be unbalanced. It’s like an open space in a parking lot. When we take CBD, it binds to our cannabinoid receptors, filling those spaces and putting our body back into balance.
I was fascinated by the ECS and excited to try a natural solution to relieve stress.
What are the benefits of CBD?
A couple weeks after beginning a CBD regimen, I noticed my anxiety was more manageable. It felt like the burden I had been carrying was lighter. My to-do list wasn’t any shorter, but I was less overwhelmed by the tasks. I felt more focused during the day and calmer at night.
Along with the benefits to anxiety, CBD can also help with:
Decreased pain and inflammation
Regulation of appetite and digestion
Improved mood and more patience
With CBD, consistency is key. You may not feel an immediate impact, especially when compared to the effects of THC. Keep an open mind and pay attention to your energy level and sleep, how you react to stressful situations and how you feel overall. It’s always recommended to consult with a physician before taking this supplement, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on other medications.
CBD is still largely unregulated, so it is important to be discerning about products. Not all CBD is created equally. When choosing a product, you’ll want to look for:
Third party testing
Transparency in ingredients
CO2 extraction and the use of hemp flower extract
USDA certified organic
Honest reviews and testimonials
Green Compass checks all the boxes I was looking for. I resonated with their mission and was inspired by the founder, Meredith Cook, who developed products she felt comfortable giving to her family.
Some of my favorite products are the balance and restore bundle, which allows you to mix and match CBD tinctures and jellies or CBG collagen based on what your body needs. I find that the collagen powder boosts my energy throughout the day and gives my skin a natural glow. The lemon lime flavor goes great with water or tea and the chocolate flavor pairs well with hot cocoa. I am also a fan of the CBN sleep better jellies — it stays true to its word (without grogginess). And for joint aches and muscle soreness after workouts, I regularly use the topical pain cream.
Being curious about CBD has led me to discover a new tool in my toolbox to help myself, my students and my community thrive and feel their best. If you are curious too and want to learn more about the science, benefits or hear about my experience, I am hosting a free online coffee chat with Taylor Gifford on Sunday, January 21 at 10AM PST. You can register for the event here. I am also happy to answer any questions you have via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I look forward to supporting you in your wellness journey.